Friday, 27 June 2014
Review:Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #1) + My Thoughts on Annabel and Hana (Delirium #0.5 and #1.5)
I loved Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver and had really high expectations for the first book in her extremely-hyped dystopian series and while I wasn't disappointed...I wasn't exactly overly impressed. The premise of the book was really cool, I liked it, it was original and interesting. However, I found that the sheer amount of world-building in this book really weighed it down and slowed its pace to a drastically boring level. The characters were not really memorable, in my opinion, I was kind of indifferent towards them. And the climax of the book was really cool and badass but...I wasn't a huge fan of the ending of the book.
I found Lauren Oliver's take on love to be really interesting in this novel, or rather, in this world. Reading about love, the thing that embodies our world and makes us who we are, being a disease is weird and oddly thought-provoking. I mean, what if it's all true? What if every other disease is only a symptom of amor deliria nervosa? What if we're all infected? The premise of this novel was extremely original, I've never read anything like it before and I enjoyed reading about such a fascinating world.
As much a I loved reading about the world, I felt that there was too much world-building and it took a lot away from the actual story, made it less exciting. At times, I found myself putting down for days because it was boring me. For three-quarter of the book, it was so slow-paced, it seemed more contemporary than dystopian. Nothing significant was happening, it was summer and the main character was having the time of her life with some boy she liked...classic contemporary. I feel like the level of world-building just overpowered the story and that just did not work for me.
I didn't hate any of the characters in this novel but I didn't love them either, I just felt apathy when reading about these characters. Nothing about them stood out to me, not the main characters, not the supporting characters. I didn't really feel like there was anything for me to love, honestly because the characters really weren't all that developed. My favourite character would probably have to be Alex because he was the only character I felt any sort of feeling for. Again, the amount of world-building left little room for anything else, especially character development.
After the book got over its super boring, contemporary-ish moment, it actually had a really cool climax, filled with guns, motorcycles and helicopters. It was awesome and extremely action packed and I could not stop reading, I just wanted to know more, I needed more and then...it ended, abruptly. What? Why? Cliffhanger? No! The ending was...GAH! It was good in the sense that it made me want to read more and I did read more, I'm currently reading Pandemonium but...cliffhangers, I can't!
In conclusion, I loved a lot of aspects of the book and hated a lot of them also. There was a balance of hate and love and I do hope that the things that I hate are lessened in the second book because there is a lot of hype surrounding this trilogy and I don't want to be the odd one out. Because of the reasons that I listed above, I have decided to rate this book three cupcakes.
My Thoughts on Annabel and Hana (Delirium #0.5 and #1.5)
I really loved Annabel. It was fun to meet Lena's mother, this mysterious woman that was mentioned so many times in Delirium. I got to read her thought processes and find out more about who she is as a person. There was a lot of development of the character, well Annabel, in this little short story and I like her. I'm crossing my fingers that she makes it into one of the next books of the trilogy. The story was refreshing, there were a lot of flashbacks to Annabel's past and I loved every minute of it. We get some sneak peeks of life before the cure and borders and it was soooooooooooooo interesting! I lovd this short short story and I rated it five cupcakes! :)
Hana was...wow! At first, I didn't really get the point of writing a short story about Hana. To me, the first few pages were just a retelling of Delirium in a different perspective. I mean, there were exact bits of conversations from Delirium so...pointless. That is, up until the ending. I don't know what the ending meant. I hope it doesn't mean what I think it means because...Hana, she wouldn't, would she? I hope that she didn't but if she did, omg, Lena's going to kill her! The only really intriguing part of Hana was like the last paragraph or so and I rated it two stars.
They cannot take it.
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Monday, 23 June 2014
Title:The Fault in Our Stars
Release Date:June 6th 2014
Length 126 mins
TFIOS! AH! WHAT? I CAN'T! It was sooooooooooooooooooooooo good!! Just, wow, I cried like I thought I would and I loved it sooooooooo much. For those of you have have yet to read the book and/or see the movie, you might want to get out of here right now because this post is going to be rather spoiler-filled, I can tell and I don't want to be the one to burst your bubble and ruin everything for you. Just don't hesitate, read it, watch the movie, come back and we can have a nice little chat about it. So, I've broken up this review into three parts, the three parts that I think are really important for any book-to-movie adaptation: actor portrayal of characters, how the movie kept with the plot of the book and just straight up movie interest. Let's go!
First off, let's discuss our main protagonist, Hazel, shall we? Hazel Grace Lancaster was portrayed by Shailene Woodley (you may know her, she was also Tris in Divergent) and I think Shailene did an outstanding job as Hazel. I had some doubts when she was chosen for the role but those doubts were quickly dispelled upon seeing only ten minutes of the movie. She WAS Hazel and Hazel was her. When I was watching the movie, I didn't see an actress, someone pretending to be someone else, I saw Hazel Grace Lancaster. She was perfect, she was shy at the right times, feisty at others and the true chemistry between her and Ansel Elgort was magical. They couldn't have picked a better Hazel. She looked like her and acted like her, she was her.
Augustus was played by the lovely Ansel Elgort who didn't really look like how I pictured Gus to be, quite honestly but...his acting, though, amazing! He wasn't Gus physically but he was him emotionally. He was funny and witty and I was so wrong about him, he did a great job portraying the heartthrob that is Augustus Waters.
I loved Isaac in this movie, even more so because he was portrayed by Nat Wolff, my childhood crush! Isaac was my favorite character from the book and seeing him brought to life in such an amazing way by such an amazing actor was...amazing and made me love him even more. He was the funniest character in the movie and he stole the spotlight of every scene that he was in and Nat Wolff embodied what I thought Isaac was about.
I think the character portrayal in this movie was superb and well-done. The actors and actresses did a fine job of representing these truly loved characters from John Green's beautiful novel and the chemistry between the characters was tangible. Even the supporting characters such as Hazel's mom and dad and Peter Van Houten did a god job and contributed to my overall enjoyment of this movie.
How Well the Movie kept with the Plot of the Book
The movie had a ton of changes from the book including the fact that Hazel's friend, Kaitlyn, was never mentioned, as well as Augustus' old girlfriend. While I wish they mentioned those things, I don't think they would have really affected the direction of the movie. The aspects of the books that were changed were semi-unnecessary and their presence, or lack thereof, I think, wouldn't have changed the movie in any significant way. Moreover, the movie stuck with the plot of the book really well, there were a few tweaks here and there, but it was good and I felt like I was reading the book while watching the movie because they kept so many of the original lines in there. I could literally say all the movie lines along with the actors while watching the movie.
How Interesting I Thought The Movie Was
Friday, 20 June 2014
Sometimes, I'm not the happiest person in life and I feel the normal teenage emotional package (not thinking I'm pretty enough, thinking everyone hates me etc. etc.) and it's nice to read books and feel related to 'cause trust me all YA Female protagonists are experiencing those insecurities that all the rest of us teenage girls are suffering with. My emotions are always all over the place and I never know if today's the day that I'm going to feel happy or sad or frustrated. I never know if today's the day that I'm going to love my friends and school or if it's the day that I'm just going to feel betrayed by them and hate everything. But I do know that today's the day that I'm going to read a book and learn about a character, maybe multiple who are just like me. They have friend problems and school problems and every problem but they're just like me and it gives me comfort because I know that when I cannot count on people for various reasons in real life, I can definitely count on the characters in my various book lives. It's immensely satisfying.
I am an extremely shy person. Well, not so much shy as undiscovered. I do not yet think that I have developed a sense of who I am. I know who I am, for the most part; my name, my age, my gender and various likes and dislikes that I have acquired throughout the years. I am socially awkward, I experience a gripping sense of anxiety when I'm surrounded by a group because I feel overshadowed by the personalities of others. But I don't FEEL like that is who I am. It's weird but inside of me, there's just this strong, outspoken, confident girl just wishing to be set free...and I don't know how to go about doing that. And that's where this love for reading comes in. When I read books that contain extraordinarily courageous main characters, I automatically feel...empowered, like I can do anything, be anything. When I read, this confident person who ultimately is myself shows her face more and more. I want to talk more, laugh louder and my normally fragile emotions are sealed behind an unbreakable safe. More so, recently since I've made a very conscious decision to be...happier, weed out the negatives and just be me. I may not be what you like but I like me.
I want, hope, wish, in the future, to become a writer and reading helps me not only to improve my vocabulary and writing skills but it also makes me aware of the different writing techniques that exist, ones that I like, ones that I do not like. It's kind of an exploration of my talent through the talents of others, if that makes sense. Reading has made me a better writer because reading gives writers an edge. Obviously, you're not going to write in a way that irritates you and others. It helps you to better you're writing based on the opinions of others on a particular book.
I think the final and most important reason why I read is the fact that it is a very life-fulfilling hobby. George R.R Martin wrote "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” and he was absolutely right. People who don't read for whatever ludicrous reason they conjure up are missing the adventures; they're missing the worlds that can be experienced, the alternate worlds. I've been a wizard, a vampire, a werewolf, human, fairy, shadowhunter and so much more and they've been...them. I've fallen in love with characters, fallen out-of-love with characters and they've been them. I think reading is extraordinary and once it is within my capacity , I will continue to move onto the next great book for as long as I can.
So...I hope you guys enjoyed my rambling about my passion for reading and I hope that it gave you a deeper understanding of who I am as a person and as a reader and feel free to comment on this post and tell me why you, yourselves, find joy in reading.
Laquesha xoxo <3
Thursday, 19 June 2014
WOW. JUST WOW. Let me just start by stating that this was the first book that I've read by Libba Bray and to be quite honest, up until about page 460, I was thoroughly disappointed. The cover didn't appeal to me at all and while reading, I kept going through phases of hating the book, liking it and thinking it was okay. It seemed a bit unrealistic. I mean, fantasy is always a good thing but...not too excessive to the point where it seemed like the plot was dreamed up by a five-year old. The story was also very slow paced and made me feel mentally and physically exhausted just by reading it. A 480-page book usually takes me about two/three days to complete but not this one. It just bored me mostly and made me put it down like every ten minutes. I just couldn't take too much of this story all at once so it took me a solid week of forceful reading.I really felt like there could've been more description about the so-called fire giants because there wasn't really any and they didn't really contribute much to the story, in my opinion, and their presence or lack thereof wouldn't have made a difference to me.
Now, let's talk about the thing that stopped me from giving this novel one star, and giving it three instead. THE ENDING. OMG, the ending was spectacular and quite frankly questioned my reality. WTF? It was totally unexpected and just outright shocked me. I thought I knew what was going to happen at the end of this book, but boy was I wrong. It left me confused and made me think that reading this novel wasn't such a horrible thing after all. I am still in shock and awe that Libba Bray was able to pull that ending off.
In conclusion, it was an okay read, not my favorite book, not the worst book I've ever read. It was just okay. I wish I could rate it higher just because of its ending but I can't because that would be terribly dishonest of me. Would I recommend it to someone else? Maybe but I'll just put it out there that if you're considering reading this novel, you might want to get some coffee and lots of it because you're going to need some help staying awake for the first few hundred pages of this book. Overall, I liked it, I'm probably not going to re-read it ever but it wasn't completely horrendous (THE ENDING WAS AMAZING!!!).
Kickass action and adventure
Monday, 2 June 2014
Publisher:Wendy Lamb Books
Publication Date:May 23rd 2006
I absolutely loved this book! Kind of a cliche way to begin a book review but it is 100% true. Below, is a list of things that really secured a place for this novel in my heart.
1) It is a historical fictional novel set roughly in the 1914-1916s around the time when World War One was happening. I studied this topic at school a while back in History and it was just so interesting and absolutely mind-blowing to read about in 276 pages or less. It really captivated me to practically see everything that I had studied in History come to life in this book. It was realistic, believable and well done.
2)ALEXANDRA AKA SASHA FOX! I mean, come on, this girl basically was the badass of her time. She was intelligent, sneaky and just did not take no for an answer, which was admirable considering that she lived in a society where women's activities and husbands were decided by their male superiors. Sasha was...different, she was psychic and could see the future of others but...only their impending deaths. She foresaw many deaths, including that of her eldest brother Edgar who had been fighting the war, at which point she had a complete mental breakdown. It also didn't help that her only other sibling, Thomas, who had been adamant about finishing his medical studies and not going to war, suddenly decided that he had a death wish. Sasha foresaw his death and was determined not to let her family be ripped apart by yet another death of a beloved son. So, she snuck off to France a.k.a WAR CENTRAL in a desperate attempt to prevent her brother's death. I just loved Sasha sooooooooooooo much, she just entertained me throughout the entire book. To me, it hadn't mattered what all the other characters were saying, I wanted to read about Sasha and her struggles with her psychic ability and how they got her in trouble and also helped in finding her brother.
3) When she did find her brother, OMG! ASDFGHJKL! What? What? I had not been anticipating the ending of this novel. It took me by surprise and it's very rare that a book does that to me and I loved every minute of it. It's just...UGH...too amazing for words! How had I not seen that coming?
I would recommend this book to anyone who thoroughly enjoys Historical Fiction books or if you're just looking for a quick but entertaining read. I must admit, at times, it seemed a bit like a diary and was a little slow-paced but it wasn't annoying slow-paced. It just gave time to really develop a love for this book and the characters. I loved it, it is now forever in my heart and it is definitely a book that I could re-read thousands of times and never get bored.
I don't own the book, sadly, I need to get it so I'm not completely sure what the last sentence was.
I have to yet to read a book that is in any way similar to this one...yet.
Sunday, 1 June 2014
Publication Date:September 22nd 2009
Give it up for the third John Green book I have read and loved! Wow, three in a row. I think it's safe to say that he's one of my favourite authors. I love him and adore his work. This book was fantastic. The characters were so cute and lovable. The plot was really interesting and didn't drag at all. And the ending...once again Mr. Green you have succeeded in breaking my heart.
In every John Green book I've read, he's managed to make me fall in love with his characters. They're usually really weird but intriguing and have some type of interesting quirk. In TFIOS, Hazel and Augustus had an obsession with metaphors. In Looking for Alaska, Pudge has a thing for last words. In this book, Margo has a thing for random capitalization and disappearing, Radar had an obsession with the omnictionary, Ben with proms and Quentin with Margo. The characters were just cute and made me LOL all the time and their wacky personalities really added life to the story.
The plot of this book was really captivating and mysterious, like I was with Quentin 100% searching for Margo, I loved it. It kept me interested. It wasn't...sad, more developmental, I watched the characters grow from start to finish and it was awe-inspiring. And it was funny, John Green took a serious situation, the disappearance of a loved one, and added charm and quirk to it and it worked.
UGHHH! The ending, man. Do you have to break my heart all the time, Mr. Green? I love you but I also love happy, expected resolutions (not really). It didn't exactly turn out the way I thought it would but I was satisfied, I thought it was a perfect ending.
So, yeah I loved this book, I could not put it down, it was amaze-balls and totally deserved my awesome five cupcake rating.
Yes, I can see her almost perfectly in this cracked darkness.
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